Medication management can be dangerous for a senior who has difficulty remembering which medications to take and when to take them. According to the Center for Disease Control more than 75 percent of Americans aged 60 and older take two or more prescription drugs and 37 percent use five or more.
Tips to Improve Medication Management for Seniors:
Senior adults with vision problems might not be able to read small print on medication bottles or might misread the label.
Ask for large print labels to be printed on the medication bottle so the senior will not misread it.
Some seniors with Alzheimer’s or Dementia might have memory loss, making it difficult to remember the correct medicine to take or what time during the day to take the medications. They also might forget to take their medicine all together or take it multiple times during the day, causing an overdose.
Using a pill box can help the senior take the correct amount of medication during the day. Medication reminders through CareFamily will call the senior’s telephone to remind them to take their medicine at the appropriate time.
A senior adult with swallowing problems might try to improvise and crush the medication to digest in food or drink. Never crush pills, if you have a problem swallowing pills ask the pharmacist if there is a liquid option.
Seniors should always ask their doctors questions about the medication they are prescribed in order to clarify any mistakes or indiscretions that they might have about the condition, the medication or side effects.
Seniors with low income may not be able to afford the multiple medications that they are prescribed. Many seniors will cut corners by splitting pills in half, taking the medication every other day or not taking the medication all together.
Low income seniors should see if they qualify for Medicaid assistance and or Medicare’s “extra help” program. Single seniors with an income of $17,235 or a couple with an income of $23,265 may qualify for the “extra help” program.
You should also look into generic prescription drugs instead of name brand, consider mail order pharmacies and check out the Medicare Plan Finder website to compare Medicare drug plans.